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How to Treat a Stiff Lower Back

Stiffness in the lower back can significantly impact your daily life, causing discomfort and restricting movement. Whether it's the result of an injury, chronic condition, or simple overexertion, there are many strategies to alleviate the symptoms and address the underlying cause. Here are some effective treatment options.


  • Pain Relief: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen) can help reduce pain and inflammation. However, always consult your doctor before starting any medication.

  • Rest: Allow your back to recover by avoiding strenuous activities that cause discomfort. However, do not stay in bed all day, as this could make the problem worse.

  • Heat Therapy: Use a heat pack, heating pad, or warm bath to relax the muscles and ease stiffness.

  • Ice Therapy: Ice packs can help reduce inflammation and numb pain. Alternate between heat and ice for the best results.

  • Stretching: Gentle stretches can help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness. Remember not to force the stretch; it should be gentle and progressive.

  • Exercise: Regular low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga can strengthen your back and core muscles, preventing further stiffness.

  • Proper Posture: Maintain good posture at all times to reduce the strain on your back. Ensure your work and living environments are ergonomically friendly.

  • Massage: A professional massage can help relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation.

The next time lower back stiffness gets you down, consider these treatment strategies to find relief.


Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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